from the technology, while preventing the US from acquiring a competitive advantage. Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant. Russia and the Baltics: Poverty and Poverty Research in a Changing World. Khrushchev era Main article: History of the Soviet Union (195364) Stalin died on Without a mutually agreeable successor, the highest Communist Party officials initially opted to rule the Soviet Union jointly through a troika headed by Georgy Malenkov. 107 Depending on the degree of power consolidation, it was either the Politburo as a collective body or the General Secretary, who always was one of the Politburo members, that effectively led the party and the country 108 (except. 140 147 For most of the period after World War II until its collapse, Soviet GDP ( PPP ) was the second largest in the world, and 3rd in the world during the mid-1980s to 1989, 153 although. By 1921, the second stage came with the realization by Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin that capitalism had stabilized itself in Europe and there would not be any widespread revolutions anytime soon. 220 During this period, the number of churches fell from 20,000 to 10,0 to 1965, and the number of synagogues dropped from 500. Foreign affairs Main article: Foreign relations of the Soviet Union Organizations Mikhail Gorbachev and George. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into nato. 207 After the socialist revolution, the life expectancy for all age groups went. Transport Main article: Transport in the Soviet Union Aeroflot 's flag during the Soviet era Transport was a key component of the nation's economy. 187 But without birth control the new system produced many broken marriages, as well as countless children born out of wedlock. Bush signing bilateral documents during Gorbachev's official visit to the United States in 1990 Stalin always made the final policy decisions, 19251953. Under the Reagan administration, Project Socrates determined that the Soviet Union addressed the acquisition of science and technology in a manner that was radically different from what the US was using. These improvements continued into the 1960s, when Soviet statistics indicated that the life expectancy in the Soviet Union briefly surpassed that of the United States. Soviet Russia had to resolve similar conflicts with the newly established Republic of Finland, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, and the Republic of Lithuania. Still, the influence of the world economy on the ussr was limited by fixed domestic prices and a state monopoly on foreign trade.